Promoting Cognitive Skill among Engineering Undergraduates with Technological Software

Promoting Cognitive Skill among Engineering Undergraduates with Technological Software

Nur Maisarah Binti Shahril Khuzairi (University Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia) and Manjit Singh Sidhu (University Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6347-3.ch015
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Abstract

This chapter reviews the infusion of technology tools such as the integration of computers into programs like simulation to promote higher cognitive skills among engineering undergraduates. With the constant change of technology and education, it is necessary to refine the current teaching and learning process to not only promote understanding but also to create room for engineering undergraduates to process the information with higher-order cognitive skills. The authors examine the evolution of engineering education against the backdrop of the problems faced in the learning environments and the technological trends in engineering curriculum. To this end, the authors propose strategies to promote higher-order cognitive skills among engineering undergraduates based on the evolution of technology in engineering as well as the challenges faced in the implementation of such tools in teaching and learning.
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Engineering Education Background

In 2009 the introduction of the Outcome Based Education (OBE) into the engineering programs by the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) has made all engineering programs in Malaysia like civil engineering, electrical and electronic engineering and as well as mechanical engineering programs to be OBE compliance in order to be get full accreditation from BEM.

According to Spady`s words, “OBE system means starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens accordingly.” (Spady, 1994) The outcome of OBE refers to “what learners can actually do with what they know and have learned – they are the tangible application of what has been learned.” (Spady, 1994) In other word, OBE system focuses on how well can engineers apply their knowledge learned in their domain like how well does a mechanical engineer uses their knowledge learnt in class to design physical engines and machineries.

Hence, Bloom Taxonomy was developed in 1956 by Benjamin Bloom to measure and categorize the Outcome-Based Education (Eisner, 2000). Bloom Taxonomy is the classification of one’s cognitive skills according to the 2 categories which is lower and higher order cognitive skills. The categories are further broken down into six different cognitive levels. The lower order cognitive skills are remembering, understanding, applying, and the higher order cognitive skills are analyzing, evaluating and creating. Each level can be depicted as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Bloom’s taxonomy from PennState Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (n.d.).

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